DIR - The female students of the lone Government Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Dir, are herded in hundreds, in every class while they also face a lack of basic facilities and teachers.

Sources in education department said the school that is situated in Dir town, the district headquarters, had scant rooms and facilities for over 1,100 students. Shockingly, a classroom that has the capacity to accommodate a maximum of 60-70 students has been herded with over 200 students. The sources said that strength of class 6th was 224, class 7th 230, class 8th 210, class 9th 280 and class 10th 170. These students, the sources said, had been stuffed in the small classrooms like chickens and direly lacked the environment of learning. The more pathetic aspect of the school is that there is no desk or even mat for students to sit. Majority of the students particularly Class 7th are compelled to sit on bare floor, both in winter and in summer. “Such a huge number of girls in our classroom causes suffocation,” said a student of 6th class, requesting anonymity. Some students, it has been learnt, have brought mats from home to sit on it. Such is the craze of education among girls in this conservative district but the continued apathy and incapability of the government is discouraging them. The education department sources said they had provided the schools with Tats (mats) but showed surprise that they did not reach students. They suspected the school clerks might have taken them home. Moreover, the school that was established in 1998 is a higher secondary school but first and second year classes have never started in it. The building is insufficient to even accommodate the students of five classes. Hundreds of girl students drop out every year after grade 10th due to the fact that higher secondary classes have not been started in the school. Also, for years, the school is being run without a principal and any junior teacher is picked up for the job, who lacked administrative skills. There are also a number of teachers’ posts, including science, lying vacant for many years. Sadly, the previous eight-room building of the school has been occupied by some influential people who have been running a private School in it for last over five years. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Education Hussain Babak might be making tall claims of improvement, merit and transparency in education sector but will he take some time out to visit this school and perform his duty in which he has failed over the last four and a half years, at least in case of this school and others in Upper Dir.